Troy Aikman, ESPN close to ‘Monday Night Football’ deal: report
Aikman has been part of Fox’s No. 1 NFL broadcasting team alongside play-by-play man Joe Buck since 2002, calling six Super Bowls in that span.
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and longtime Fox Sports NFL analyst Troy Aikman is close to joining ESPN on a deal that would see him serve as the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football,” according to multiple reports.
Aikman’s not-yet-completed deal is expected to be for five years and big money, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news. The Athletic confirmed the Post’s report and noted that while the deal isn’t yet finalized “all signs point to Aikman heading to ESPN.”
The No. 1 overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft joined Fox in 2001 following a 12-year playing career that saw him win three Super Bowls and the Super Bowl 27 MVP with the Dallas Cowboys.
Moving from his broadcasting home of 20-plus years will have a big impact across the industry, starting first with Fox. Aikman has been part of Fox’s No. 1 NFL broadcasting team alongside play-by-play man Joe Buck since 2002, calling six Super Bowls in that span.
There’s also the impact on “Monday Night Football,” which currently features Steve Levy in the play-by-play role with Louis Riddick and Brian Griese as the analysts. ESPN has also already committed to more alternative broadcasts with Peyton and Eli Manning, a highlight of this past NFL season.
Aikman certainly will not come cheap — the Post reported his deal is expected “to approach or exceed the neighborhood of Tony Romo’s $17.5 million per year contract” — a likely byproduct of a bidding war created in part by Amazon’s entry into the broadcasting space with “Thursday Night Football.” Aikman had publicly said he had spoken with Amazon prior to Wednesday night’s news about his pending move to ESPN.
Adding to the industry intrigue is Al Michaels, the legendary play-by-play announcer who is now a free agent after his contract with NBC expired.
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